Please click here for the fantastic Hi-Fi World Feb. 2016 review
Introducing a new line from Japan, Hana (which means “brilliant and gorgeous” in the original Japanese). Hana Phono Cartridges use high rigidity aluminum cantilevers, and cross-shaped armatures, providing you with brilliant and gorgeous sound. Hana cartridges are produced by Excel Sound Corporation of Tokyo Japan, a long time OEM cartridge producer. The Hana Series has been developed with significance placed on ease of use and set-up, as well as high performance reproduction. Hana Cartridges' highly rigid aluminium cantilever are assembled with crossed armatures to reproduce dynamic sound!
Stylus Profile: EllipticalCantilever: AluminumOutput Level @ 1kHz: 0.5mVOutput Balance @ 1kHz: Less Than 2dBVertical Tracking Force: 2 gramsTrackability: 70 um/2 gramsSeparation @ 1kHz: 25 dBFrequency Response: 15-25,000 HzImpedance @ 1 kHz: 30 OhmsSuggested Load: 400 OmmsCartridge Weight: 5 GramsBody Color: Moss Green
Background: 95% of my listening is to acoustic music, either Jazz or Classical. I use the Hana EL on a Roksan Radius TT, pre-amped by iFi into a Quad Vena amp and S-2 speakers. Pretty conservative. To make things even more boring, we go to classical concerts often and play chamber music at home. BUT all this is just to say that the cartridge is one of the most truthful and reliable I have heard. It isn't as bouncy as my previous Dynavector or as "brilliant" as the old AT-09II. But it tracks just as well and its never going to tire your ears. There's articulate detail and as much bass as my speakers can handle. Instrumental timbres are as "realistic" as the recording process will allow. There are virtues to subtlety and I really admire what the EL does.
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having experience with the Hana SL, the cheaper EL version came as a surprise to me. The SL is a really good cartridge for folks who possess a disc cleaner. It is so revealing that every tick and pop on the record can be heard. Not so the EL. The elliptical stylus seems less prone to picking up background noise. What you're left with is the music. And that is where this little gem really excels. It gives a very lively presentation with loads of dynamics, a good stereo image and plenty of fun. It is not the most revealing or natural cartridge I've heard, but at this price point, it will be very hard to better it.
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